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I've been a member since 2008. My wife and I share our main profile but I wanted to be able to browse the site and post things myself. You can see our shared profile here:
I had traveled all over the Midwest part of the US growing up. Kira grew up partly in Africa so she was used to international travel. Except for a few trips to Canada I hadn't been out of the country much before University. Then we spent a school year in Ireland, I spent a summer in Iceland, and then we moved to Russia in 2005. We've been traveling and teaching English ever since. We were there for 3 years. Then Berlin in 2008, the US for most of 2009, Turkey for the 2009-2010 school year, Sweden for the end of 2010, then back to Russia for 2010-2016. In between we've traveled in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Finland, Denmark, Poland, France, Bulgaria, Serbia, Croatia, and Greece. Not in that order.
Why I’m on Couchsurfing
We don't like hotels. No matter where you go, hotels are all the same. They're a last resort for us (unless it's an all-inclusive package tour). We usually prefer a private room in a hostel (no one wants a screechy, hyper-active toddler at 9am in the dorms). Or renting a local flat on AirBnB or finding a room through Couch Surfing. We much prefer to live like the locals, and if possible with local roommates or neighbors wherever we are.
Our main social hobby is Viking period living history reenactment and reconstruction. We do our own costumes, buy most of the metal and leather work. And then Kira takes the photos.
Our less social hobbies are more geekdom focused. We were both comic book lovers and AD&D players growing up. Both are hard to do as expats moving internationally. So now we follow the a lot of the sci-fi and fantasy movies and series while playing the occasional MMO (SWTOR and ESO currently).
And of course traveling. Even though we have a kid now, we still travel when we can. We started with him when he was 10 weeks old and in his first 18 months he's been in 5 countries.
Music, Movies, and Books
We love folk rock. Some of our favourites are Boiled in Lead, Troll Gnyot El, Tintal, Teufelztanz, Tyr, Hedningarna, Metsatoll.
We're fans of the current trend towards well-made comic book movies. Star Wars (IV) was my first movie and also our son's (VII).
Two of my favourite modern authors are Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett. Gaiman's "American Gods" is my go-to carry-on book when I'm traveling (I have at least 5 copies in various countries right now) and Pratchett's Discworld series is one of my all-time favourites. I was a fan of Tolkien's academic works originally, but after reading the Silmarillion, I started reading his fiction and fell in love with that too.
One Amazing Thing I’ve Done
Survived being carried off the field on my shield. I took a carelessly-swung axe to the leg while fighting at a Viking event in Russia in 2007. It shattered my tibia in three places. I had to be carried out of the forest on a stretcher made of spears and shields and across a freshly plowed field to the nearest road. Russia has surprisingly good hospitals. But it still took me two years of therapy to be able to run again and I wasn't able to go back to viking training until the spring of 2011.
Teach, Learn, Share
Though I'd prefer to be teaching history, I love that by teaching English I am helping people to travel more freely.
What I Can Share with Hosts
Whenever we would visit my Norwegian grandpa on weekends he'd make crepes. I had always wanted to learn to make them too. When I moved to Russia I taught myself how to reconstruct his recipe (which he never wrote down). Continuing the family tradition, I make them for the whole family when I'm back in Minnesota (sometimes 14-18 people in the summer). We like to have them on the weekends 2-4 times a month too and it's something we've done mostly when hosting but I'm up for doing them anywhere.
Countries I’ve Visited
Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Denmark, England, Estonia, Finland, France, Greece, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Serbia, Wales
Countries I’ve Lived In
Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Russian Federation, Turkey, United States